The Mazzoni Center received an unexpected gift recently when it was notified that it would receive $100,000 from the estate of a Conshohocken native who later moved to San Francisco.
Thomas M. Dross passed away in San Francisco on January 7, 2012. He was born and raised in Conshohocken, educated at Widener in Chester, Pa., and later moved to San Francisco where he worked in marketing and advertising, and founded a popular restaurant, Upstairs, Downstairs. Upon his death he requested that his $2.1 million estate go to support HIV/AIDS charities, so when passed his co-executors set out to choose the organizations that would receive gifts. Most of the beneficiaries are located on the West Coast, but knowing Dross wanted to make a difference in his hometown, the co-executors decided to send money to Philly’s own Mazzoni Center. The donation marks one of the largest single contribution in the organization’s history.
“We are honored to have been chosen as a beneficiary of Thomas Dross’s estate, and to find ourselves in the distinguished company of other organizations who are doing critical work in HIV/AIDS on the West Coast,” said Mazzoni Executive Director Nurit Shein in a press release. “His generous legacy will make a significant impact here in his hometown of Philadelphia, as it surely will in these other communities and organizations that were close to his heart.”
Other organizations to receive gifts include AIDS Emergency Fund, the AIDS Interfaith Chapel at Grace Cathedral, Clinica Esperanza, FamilyLink, the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, the San Francisco LGBT Aging Policy Task Force, Outreach Report, the Richmond/Ermet AIDS Foundation, the Desert AIDS Project in Palm Springs, Cali., and Food for Thought in Sonoma County, Cali.
CORRECTION: The Mazzoni Center clarified that, while this is one of the largest individual contributions in the organization's history, it is not the single largest.